Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Genealogy Fair Postponed

Due to all the uncertainty regarding Hurricane Irma (and maybe her cousin, Jose), we have decided to postpone the Genealogy Fair until January 2018.  Please check back here regularly as we will be posting the upcoming meeting schedule and agendas in the column on the right.

We sincerely hope that Irma and Jose steer clear of us - but in the event they come our way - please stay safe!

Denise, Linda and Lynn


Monday, September 4, 2017

Save The Date! 2017 Genealogy Fair

Mark your calendars so you won’t miss this year’s Genealogy Fair. The fair will run from 1:00-3:00 PM on Wednesday, September 13 in Live Oak Hall at the Seabrook Island Lake House. There will be exhibits, games, prizes, and refreshments.  One lucky person will win a 2018 membership (a $15 value).  We hope you will join us on the 13th.

Monday, August 14, 2017

During out meeting on August 9th, we had a number topics ranging from Family Tree Maker 2017 finally launched and what is new in it, to discussion of upcoming events.  If you are interested in an overview, click here for access to the powerpoint charts used to guide our discussion.

Remember our upcoming "DIRT Genealogy Fair" on Wednesday, September 13th.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017



Meeting held 24 May 2017 at Lake House:

I want to shout out a great "thank you" to Bob Silkett for doing such a marvelous presentation and taking us through the use of our local library for free access to genealogical research and then deep diving to show us all how to better use Heritage Quest (free through the library) with city directories, books, people, census records and more. Thank you. Click here, to find the handout that Bob provided as reference for each of us to do our own research. Thank you.

There will be no evening meetings in June, July, or August.

I discussed the fabulous BYU Webinar on "Digging Deeper Into Google for Genealogists" by James Tanner that was just posted. Click here for the Youtube version. For the language translation portion skip ahead to 14:55 minute mark.

I will put together a "Death Certificate" homework fun assignment for later this year.

See you all on June 14, 2017 1:30-3:30 PM at the Lake House for Bob Silkett's presentation on Newspaper research using the free library access.

A great welcome back to Joan Reed who is re-igniting her interest in doing genealogical research.

Have fun on your family heritage journey.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

DIRT Meeting Summary May 10, 2017

I want to thank Denise Kotva for sharing with us her personal research using FindAGrave and going to specific locations to prove her findings.  We all learned something new to help in our own journey of research.  Great Job!

We continued discussing the "Webinar Project" and providing members to select from the current list of over 150 Webinars (online videos) on genealogical research that Lynn Baker has downloaded and made available to members on a USB drive.  Come to our next meeting and find out more.  This is a way to continue learning about specific areas ranging from general information, DNA, State specific, country specific and more.

We also talked about the "Christmas Challenge", asking each of you to pick a small genealogy / family heritage project to give your loved ones at Christmas.  As you select what to do, we at DIRT will help you with your project.  Here is a beginning list of what has been suggested, it would be up to you to decide what you want to do.  Please share your ideas and what you want to work on.



·        book for child telling story of one person, ancestor and what life was like for that person as a child
·         Recipe book of family heritage recipes
·        Christmas cards with Family Heritage photo
·        Christmas decoration with family photo
·        colage of genealogy photos made into a puzzle for kids to put together
·         digital photo frame with genealogy photos loaded before shipment
·         Family bookmarks with Family crest or photo
·         family crest
·         Family pedigree chart - fancy version
·         framed old family photograph
·         genealogy bingo game
·         Get ornaments from other countries of origin
·         group genealogy sheets of the family
·         letterhead of family crest or old family photo
·         Living history video of your family story/memories with photo overlays
·         Ornamental tree with genealogy ornaments
·         short story of one item in the family heritage
·         small book about one ancestor with an interesting story
·         story of first ancestor coming to the US and description of crossing

Monday, May 1, 2017

Family History Guide - May Newsletter

If you click here you will (should...) be connected to The Family History Guide's May newsletter. I don't know how many of you are using The Family History Guide or are subscribed to their newsletter, but I thought you might find it interesting.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 5 Evening Session: Discussion on Interviewing for Heritage

We had a great discussion about preparing and doing interviews for family history.   Use of a small digital tape recorder can save fabulous stories from family members to be posted as digital files (.wav) or transcribed into a text file.

Summary Guidelines for interviewing used by Ethnographic Research: Click here

Typical factual data to request: Click here

Typical questions to ask during an interview on genealogy: Click here

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 22 DIRT Meeting:

Link to Research Log page (docx) shared by Michelle Weiner: Click here

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Value of Keeping A Research Log

I know I harp on this all the time - but I just can't say it enough.  If you are going to spend all that time on your family history research, keep a log so you don't duplicate your efforts over and over again.

Janine Adams recently published a post on her "Organize Your Family History" blog entitled, Why Keep A Genealogy Research Log.  Hope you will take a few minutes to take a look!  For those of you who are still struggling with this research tool, Janine has started a Facebook group  called "Genealogy Research Loggers".  Might be worth checking out!




Thursday, March 16, 2017

TEST POST

Having problems with the service that sends email notifications - testing to see if this is working.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 15 - DIRT Evening Session - USGS Maps and NewspaperArchive.com


Gave demo on free US Geological Survey maps and overlaying onto Goggle Maps. 
Tutorial on using NationalMaps.gov - click here
Opening NationalMaps.org - click here
Written instructions on use of USGS maps (thank you to Charlie Black) - click here
Migration map (provided by Debbe Finkelstein) - click here

Gave demo on NewspaperArchive.com, doing research for DIRT members.  You can get a 7 day free trial subscription and/or go to the Family History Center (on Sam Rittenberg road) for free access.
Here are some tutorials (older, use browse instead of archives) on using this database:
#1 Browse and Search - Introduction to Archives - click here
#2 Profile page, Treasure Box - click here
#3 Saved Search - Introduction to Archives - click here

March 1 DIRT Evening Meeting on Newspapers and Evernote


Covered Newspapers.com and Evernote.  Here are the links to the two videos shown.

Video tutorial on newspapers and newspaperarchives - click here
Video on evernote introduction - click here

For newspapers, the following information is for your awareness:

- America's Historical Newspapers - found at the Charleston County Public Library for free with ccpl library card
- Heritagequest - found at the Charleston County Public Library for free with ccpl library card
newspaperarchive.com - found at the Family History Center, LDS for free

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Don't Forget To Tell Your Story




All of us are busy working on our family history research.  Each of us is in a different place. Some of us have been doing this for YEARS, and others are just starting out. Regardless of what we plan to DO with all this work, the goal is to satisfy our own curiosity and leave a legacy for our descendants.  

We are told, over and over again, not to forget to interview our parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and any other person who has traveled through the lives of our family in order to gather as much information as possible. The one person you know the most about - yourself - is probably the one source of information you are totally ignoring in your search to leave behind a substantive record for generations yet to be born.

I have always kept a journal and as a result, all through my family history quest, I have kept notes, thoughts, recorded and written, about the journey. It is my record of how I am creating what I am creating. I have also started a folder in Evernote where I am stashing ideas, photos, things that pop into my head when I least expect them, notes and memories that I will, eventually, incorporate into a personal memoir of MY life.  Because who knows more about me than me!

There are a number of resources out there that can help you tell your story.  One of them is Legacy Tale. If you are interested in exploring the possibilities for telling your story, I recommend you check them out.  

Don't let your story get lost among all the hard work you are doing digging up the tales of your ancestors. You may not think you have anything much to tell, but generations from now, your story could be an inspiration to someone you will never have the opportunity to meet. How exciting would be it if you could locate a book written by your great-great-grandmother about her life? Don't forget to leave something of yourself among the bits and pieces of your past.





Wednesday, February 22, 2017

All Quiet On The Genealogy Front

I bet you thought I had abandoned you! There hasn't been much to post about lately, mainly because almost all the genealogy elite have been at RootsTech.  Where I would normally peruse 35-40 genealogy-related blogs each day, that number has been down to 10-12.  But I expect, now that our trusted sources are returning home and gathering their thoughts and notes from the conference, more will be forthcoming.

As always, when something of interest comes along, I will share it with all of you.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Genealogy Research at the Library of Congress

Image result for photo of library of congress


If you are ever in Washington, D.C., I highly recommend you take the time to visit the Library of Congress, take the 10 minutes needed to procure a library card, and visit the reading room. The Library of Congress is a treasure trove of genealogical information.  In cleaning out my desk this week, I uncovered my copy of the how-to handout from the LOC entitled, Genealogical Research At The Library of Congress.  If you plan on visiting the LOC to to research, please give this a read before hand.



Thursday, February 9, 2017

Boomerang for Gmail


One of the most disorganized parts of most of our digital lives is our email inbox. I struggled for years to come up with a system that works for me.  My rule is that there is NEVER more than 12 emails in my inbox. One of the tools I use to accomplish that is Boomerang for Gmail.  If you use Google as your email provider, you will find this post and video very informative.

This handy little tool does two important things:
  1. It allows you to remove an email from your inbox and return it to you when you need to act on it - or be reminded of something in the email and
  2. When composing an email, it gives you an option to "send later".
Boomerang also allows you to:
  1. Track responses
  2. Schedule recurring emails
  3. Add notes to emails and
  4. Request "read" receipts 
What, you might ask, does any of this have to do with genealogy?  Well, I believe we do our best work when we are organized and are using our time efficiently.  These days a great deal of our correspondence, bills, financial statements, advertisements, reminders, etc. get delivered to us through email.  Keeping that aspect of our lives clean and efficiently organized is a great place to start working smarter everywhere else. 

Check out the YouTube video below for more details on how Boomerang for Gmail can help you better organize your email inbox.


What Is A Google Alert?

Image result for google alerts logo

Did you know that you can automate your Google searches?  If you perform regular searches, always looking for new information that appears online, Google has a solution to manually typing in those searches over and over again.

In fact, Google will perform a search for you every day or every week and even send any newly-found results to you as email messages. If you forget, Google still remembers and sends an email message with the results, if any. Even better, Google only sends each new piece of information one time. You never see repeats. Each new email message contains only new results that Google has found since the last email message was sent.

Google Alerts are great for many purposes, including:
  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • keeping current on a company in which you have made an investment
  • getting the latest updates on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
  • searching for ancestral information
  • and probably a few thousand other uses.
The best feature of Google Alerts? It is available FREE of charge.

To create an alert:


First, go to Google Alerts.

In the box at the top, enter the topic you want to follow



To change your settings, click show options (next to "Create Alert" button)



You can change:
  • How often you get notifications
  • The types of sites you’ll see
  • Your language
  • The part of the world you want info from
  • How many results you want to see
  • What accounts get the alert (i.e., you email address)

Click Create Alert and you will get an email whenever Google finds matching search results.

Edit an alert


Go to Google alerts.
Next to an alert, click Edit .
If you don’t see any options, click Show options.
Make your changes.
Click Update Alert.
To change how you get alerts, click Settings check the options you want and click Save.

Delete an alert


Go to Google alerts.
Next to the alert you want to remove, click Delete .

Optional: You can also delete an alert by clicking Unsubscribe at the bottom of an alert email.